News

  • Text of PM’s Speech at the launch of Mohanpura Irrigation Scheme in Madhya Pradesh, 23 June, 2018

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today remotely inaugurated urban development projects at various locations across the State. These include houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the success and milestones achieved by the Swachh Bharat Mission has been possible due to the efforts and participation by the citizens across the country.

  • The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla stressed the need to inspire more girls to take up the field of Photo Journalism as  the Photo Journalists play a significant role in depicting the reality in a natural way.

    He was addressing the Photo Journalists after inauguratinga  three day Photo Exhibition  on ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao  campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Khelo India Khelo’ in  Chandigarh today  organised by The Photo Journalists Welfare Association.

  • The Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Suresh Prabhu has said that the Kannur airport will be provided with all possible help to make it fully operational by September this year. After meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Shri Prabhu has directed Chairman, Airport Authority of India and other officials from the Ministry to take all possible steps to make Kannur Airport as a point of call for foreign airlines.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that it is the pious responsibility of everyone to take care of widows.  Addressing the gathering on the occasion of International Widows' Day, here today, he said that ‘we as a society need to reflect on the social attitudes towards widows and how the stigma, humiliation and isolation attached to widowhood can be overcome’.

  •  

    Suresh Prabhu chairing a meeting to review development of Konkan Region in Delhi

     

    Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu chaired a meeting today in Delhi to review development of Konkan region.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today dedicated the Mohanpura Project to the Nation. This project will facilitate irrigation of agricultural land in Rajgarh district. It will also provide drinking water to villages in the area.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, delivered a lecture at Havana University in Cuba yesterday (June 22, 2018) on the subject - “India and the Global South”.  

     

    The President said that the subject - “India and the Global South” - he has chosen to speak on happens to be central to both Cuban and Indian foreign policy.

  • The Further Fund Offer (FFO) of Bharat 22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), managed through ICICI Prudential Fund was successfully launched by the Government of India in pursuance of its disinvestment policy targeting an initial amount of Rs.6,000 crore.

  • The valedictory function of the two-day 19th All India Conference of Directors of Finger Print Bureaux was held in Hyderabad today. The Chief Guest, Shri Naini Narsimha Reddy, Minister of Home, Telangana said the state government has strengthened the Police force.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that making agriculture sustainable and profitable should top the agenda of both central and state governments as food security is the key foundation of national security.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, reached Santiago de Cuba, Cuba yesterday (June 21, 2018) on the last leg of his 3 - nation State Visit to – Greece, Suriname and Cuba. In Santiago de Cuba, he visited the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery to pay his tributes to national heroes of Cuba – Jose Marti, Fidel Castro, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Mariana Grajales.

  • During the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Oil Refinery at 'Stantsiin Hooloi' in Altanshiree Soum, Mongolia today, the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh observed that this Ceremony was an important milestone in the bilateral ties between India and Mongolia.

  • The initial public offering (IPO) of PSU firm RITES, was subscribed 66.75 times. In the RITES IPO, the government is selling 12.6 percent stake or 2.52 crore equity shares, including 12 lakh shares to employees.

  • A workshop on “End of Pipe Treatment of Waste Water Entering River Yamuna and Ghaggar” was organised today by Public Health Engineering Department, Haryana during which a detailed discussion on pollution in River Yamuna took place and new technologies for sewage treatment were deliberated upon.

  • Shri R.K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable launched a campaign to promote energy efficiency in the area of air-conditioning here, today. Speaking on the occasion, he said "Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature setting results in saving of 6 per cent of electricity consumed.

  • Election Commission of India vide Press Note No. ECI/PN/44/2018 dated 22.06.2018

    The term of office of 11 members of Maharashtra Legislative Council elected by the Members of Legislative Assembly is due to expire on 27th July, 2018 as per following details:   

     

    Sl.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Krishi Vigyan Kendras must act as a bridge between scientists and farmers in providing knowledge and latest farming techniques to farmers.

  • The total sown area as on 22nd June 2018, as per reports received from States, stands at 115.90 lakh hectare as compared to 128.35 lakh hectare at this time last year.

     

    It is reported that rice has been sown/transplanted in 10.67 lakh ha, pulses in 5.91 lakh ha, coarse cereals in 16.69 lakh ha, sugarcane in 50.01 lakh hectare and cotton in 20.68 lakh ha.

     

    The details of the area covered so far and that covered during this time last year are given below:

     

    lakh hectare

    Crop

    Area sown in 2018-19

    Area sown in 2017-18

    Rice

    10.



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said, NDA government is working on five big schemes for large cities which include Swachh Bharat Mission, and Smart...




  • BJP President Amit Shah today reviewed the party's preparations and strategy for the Lok Sabha elections due next year during his first visit to J...




  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the people in India and abroad in his Mann Ki Baat programme of All India Radio at 11 AM tom...



  • Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat today visited the Kashmir Valley to review the prevailing security situation along the Line of Control and also in the hinterland. Accompanied by the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and the Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen AK Bhatt, the Army Chief visited forward posts along the Line of Control in the frontier districts of Kupwara and Baramulla where he was briefed on all aspects of operational and logistical preparedness.



  • India has lodged strong protest at the denial of access to the Indian High Commissioner and consular officials of the Indian High Commission to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan and meet visiting pilgrims. External Affairs Ministry said in a statement that Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned today and a strong protest was lodged at the denial of access despite travel permission having been granted by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.



  • Five migrants died and nearly 200 were rescued off the coast of Libya while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in two boats.



  • At the foreign exchange market, the rupee firmed up by 19 paise to 67 points 79 against the US dollar today.



  • Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today announced Suryashakti Yojana (SKY) for farmers.



  • India blanked arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0 to open its campaign on a rousing note in the final edition of the Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament in Breda, the Netherlands today.


  • OPEC members have agreed on a combined increase in crude oil output of one million barrels per day despite strong opposition from Iran.

    The actual increase will be smaller as several countries are unable to raise output. This was confirmed by the oil minister Saudi Arabia Khaled al-Faleh after the cartel's meeting in Vienna on Friday.

    The support for the increase, which had been proposed by Saudi Arabia against objections from Iran, was unanimous.

    Ahead of the meeting, India had appealed to the OPEC Forum, which includes both producing and consuming nations to fill the supply gap, and restore "reasonable" pricing.

  • The United States and South Korea have agreed to indefinitely suspend two exchange program training exercises, the Pentagon said on Friday, in the aftermath of the summit earlier this month between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    At a news conference after the meeting with Kim in Singapore, Trump announced that he would halt what he called very provocative and expensive regular military exercises that the United States holds with South Korea.

    North Korea had long sought an end to the war games. Earlier this week, the United States and South Korea said they were suspending planning for August's Freedom Guardian exercise. The decision to halt military exercises with South Korea baffled allies, military officials and lawmakers. The drills help keep U.S. forces at a state of readiness in one of the world's most tense flashpoints.
     
     

  • In Maharashtra, the statewide ban on single-use plastic items comes into effect on Saturday. Heavy fine will be imposed on those caught using these items. The initial penalty for use is 5,000 rupees, but repeat offenders can also be jailed for 3 months.

    While environmentalists and most citizens are appreciative of the govt's decision just ahead of the monsoon rains where plastic chokes drains leading to flooding in cities like Mumbai, shopkeepers are a worried lot over the switchover.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attended the Madhya Pradesh Shehari Vikas Mahotsav at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, MP Governor Anandiben Patel and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan were also present. He also reviewed the exhibition there before addressing a public rally.

    The Prime Minister also remotely inaugurated various urban development projects worth over 4000 crore rupees, at various locations across the State. These include houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects.

    He also distributed Swachh Survekshan-2018 Awards, and launched the Swachh Survekshan-2018 results dashboard. Cleanest cities, and best performing States received awards from the Prime Minister. One Swachh Innovation, one Swachh Best Practice, and one Swachh Entrepreneur also received awards from the Prime Minister.

    Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri hailed flagship programmes of the NDA government particularly the "Planned Urbanisation."

    State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said that his government is making efforts to improve the lives of poor living in the urban sectors of the state.

    Earlier, Prime Minister Modi dedicated the Mohanpura Dam Project to the nation at Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh.

    Rajgarh is a drought prone region in the state. The project will facilitate irrigation of agricultural land of the district and provide drinking water to villages in the area. 

    The dam which has been constructed ahead of the schedule, has 17 gates and will irrigate 1.15 lakh hectares of land.

    He also laid the Foundation stone of three Drinking Water Schemes at the same venue.

    Later he released the Water Resources Work Plan 2024.

    PM Modi reiterated that efforts are being made to double farmers income in order to fulfill the dream of New India. He added that in this series, 14 crore soil health cards have been distributed in the past four years.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also hit out at the opposition for indulging in politics of negativity.

    At the rally, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said that the state is witnessing speedy development under BJP rule. He added that many steps have been taken to improve production of various food items across the state in order to make farming a profitable business.

    Earlier, PM Modi inspected an exhibition on development projects in Rajgarh. The concerned officials briefed the Prime Minister on the project there.

     

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj delivered a keynote speech at the high-level event 'Climate, Peace and Security – The Time for Action' in Brussels.

    Addressing the conference, she said stressed that these challenges are global in nature, and can be tackled only through global cooperation.

    The Minister also said that India is committed in its fight against climate change and energy conservation.

    In Brussels, the External Affairs Minister also visited a photo exhibition on the contribution of the Indian diaspora in the European Union.

    The photo exhibition comprising around 80 photos showcased the achievements of the 3 million strong indian diaspora in the EU.
     

  • India and Cuba have signed two MoUs in the field of biotechnology, traditional medicine and homoeopathy.

    The agreements were inked following delegation-level talks between President Ram Nath Kovind and his Cuban counterpart Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel at Revolution Palace in Havana on Friday.

    The two countries agreed to enhance cooperation in biotechnology, renewable energy and traditional medicine. Cuba also reiterated its support to India's candidature for a permanent seat in UN Security Council.

    Earlier, President Kovind on a state visit to Cuba offered floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Havana.

    President also visited the Biotechnology Centre and went to the historic Revolution Square in Havana.

    The President was accorded Guard of honour at the Revolution Palace.

     

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid the foundation stone of Vanijya Bhawan at Delhi's Akbar road. Once ready, the new building will house the Department of Commerce. 

    Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the construction of Vanijya Bhawan will be completed before December 2019. He added that earlier, construction pace was tardy, but now construction is completed in a pre-determined time frame and full accountability is fixed. PM Modi also said that speedy completion of various works shows the government's commitment.

    The Prime Minister asserted that the current government does not believe in misleading the country. He urged the people to start working from “Silos to Solutions”. He also said that technology has eased ways of doing business today, and this is going to grow in the years to come.

    The Prime Minister also said that GST has brought positive changes in the economy & in the way financial activities were carried out earlier.

    He set sight on taking India into the 5 Trillion dollars economy club; stressed on taking GDP growth rate into double digits and doubling India's share in global exports to 3.4%.

    Earlier, PM Modi planted a sapling on the occasion. New Vanijya Bhawan will be a completely paperless office with state of the art facilities such as smart access control, video conferencing and completely networked systems. He also viewed the 3D model and virtual walkthrough of Vanjiya Bhawan.

    The new building will be a symbol of not only India's growing economic might but also the adoption and use of technology in governance. 

    The Department of Commerce is currently housed in Udyog Bhawan which also houses a large number of other Government of India departments leading to constraint of space. 

    Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu said that this is not only the foundation stone of the new building but also a step towards new India. Minister of State for Commerce C R Chaudhary also spoke on the event. He said that this building will help in saving lot of money spent on rent.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Madhya Pradesh on a day's visit today  where he will unveil a bouquet of development projects for the state.

    In the first leg of his visit, PM Modi  will be in Rajgarh where he will dedicate the Mohanpura Dam Project to the nation.

    This project will facilitate irrigation of agricultural land in Rajgarh district, and provide drinking water to villages in the area.

    Besides that, he will address a public meeting in Rajgarh to lay the foundation stone of various drinking water schemes and inspect an exhibition on development projects in Rajgarh.

    In the second leg of his visit, the Prime Minister will arrive in Indore where he will attend the Madhya Pradesh Shehari Vikas Mahotsav and remotely inaugurate various urban development projects worth over 4000 crore rupees, at various locations across the State.

    These include houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects.

    He will also distribute the Swachh Survekshan-2018 Awards, and launch the Swachh Survekshan-2018 results dashboard. Cleanest cities, and best performing States will receive awards from the Prime Minister. One Swachh Innovation, one Swachh Best Practice, and one Swachh Entrepreneur will also receive awards from the Prime Minister.

    Locals in Indore are enthusiastic on the eve of the PM's visit and proud that their city has won the distinction of being the cleanest city in India for the second time in a row.

    The Prime Minister has often underscored the importance of states in India's development journey. He also monitors the progress being made by states in implementing various developmental schemes in a bid to inject momentum and clear bottlenecks in the way of achieving desired outcomes.

    While PM Modi's visit to the state would shower immense development benefits on it, it could serve another purpose too, of encouraging other states to compete with Madhya Pradesh in development metrics.

  • The Ajay Thakur-led side started off sensibly, gauging the weakness and strength of Pakistan in the initial minutes before thrashing their arch-rivals to notch up a tsunami of points.

    Reeling under pressure, Pakistan gifted away some easy points as they lacked any co-ordination and confidence on the mat.

    Both teams started on a positive note but after few minutes, Pakistan sent back India's star raider Rahul Chaudhary to take an one point lead. But Indian skipper Thakur equalised handsomely through a gentle touch on the opponents side.

    At one point India got a chance to reduce the opponents to three players but Sandeep failed in doing so.

    With both teams registering points one after the other, Chaudhary led India's defence to take a four-point lead with just seven minutes to go in the first half.

    Rahul stood up to his reputation and pressurised the Pakistanis to that extent that one player stepped out from the playing area to hand India one point.

    A comfortably placed India then had the excellent opportunity to get Pakistan all out and they did that in style. Rohit, who was the substitute for Surjeet, came for the raid and inflicted an all-out to make it 14-8 with only four minutes remaining.

    In the 18th minute, Rohit got a brilliant opportunity to make his opponents reel on the floor and he made it with an excellent raid to force Pakistan to play with one player.

    By the time, the first half ended India deservingly made a lop-sided affair with a whopping 22-8 lead.

    The change of sides saw Thakur making it worse for Pakistan as he inflicted another all out in the opening second of the second half.

    It was clearly visible that the Pakistan players were feeling the heat as they gifted some easy points, helping India swell their lead to 27-8.

    But Pakistan did not give up easily, threatening India by getting four players out but Rahul splashed water on their plans and took some crucial points to maintain the lead.

    Towards the end, Pakistan managed to sneak in a few points but that was not enough to overhaul India's lead as the Thakur-led side kicked off their campaign in style.

    Earlier, India's Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore unveiled the trophy in presence of Bollywood actor and Jaipur Pink Panthers Kabaddi club owner Abhishek Bachchan.

  • Both Brazilians struck in the second half added time at the Saint Petersburg Stadium to hand the five-time World Cup winners their first victory in the tournament.

    Costa Rica managed to hold fast for the full 90 minutes of normal play thanks to a solid display from goalkeeper Keylor Navas but one minute into stoppage time, Barça's Coutinho rescued Brazil, driving through the defense to attack a loose ball in the penalty area, smashing it home between the legs of the Real Madrid man between the posts.

    Then, in the dying embers of stoppage time, of which there were six minutes, Neymar, who was yet to score at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, connected to a simple cross to tap home and seal the game.

    At the final whistle, the most expensive player in the world broke into tears of relief in the center of the pitch.

    Brazil, one of this year's favourites to win the trophy, all but secured its place in the knockout stages of the competition, recovering from a 1-1 draw in its opening match against Switzerland, who in turn is to meet with Serbia in the evening kick-off.

    Costa Rica put on a tough display in the first half knowing that a loss would essentially resign them to booking an early ticket home, but the players tired towards the end of the 90 minutes and succumbed to the relentless attacking tactics of the Brazilians.

    Brazil, who now top the table with 4 points, is set to play Serbia on Jun 27 in its final Group E match.

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is in Mongolia on a 3-day visit to further India's relations with the Central Asian country and strengthen security cooperation.

    Mongolia is an important strategic partner for India. He attended the ground breaking ceremony of an oil refinery at Altanshiree Soum in Dor-no-gobi province with the Prime Minister of Mongolia, U Khurelsukh.

    This refinery project has been financed by the Government of India through a Line of Credit of One Billion USD.

    Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh described the refinery as a milestone in Mongolia's growth story.
     

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Madhya Pradesh on a day's visit on Saturday where he will unveil a bouquet of development projects for the state.

    In the first leg of his visit, PM will be in Rajgarh where he will dedicate the Mohanpura Dam Project to the nation.

    This project will facilitate irrigation of agricultural land in Rajgarh district, and provide drinking water to villages in the area.

    Besides that, he will address a public meeting in Rajgarh to lay the foundation stone of various drinking water schemes and inspect an exhibition on development projects in Rajgarh.

    In the second leg of his visit, the Prime Minister will arrive in Indore where he will attend the Madhya Pradesh Shehari Vikas Mahotsav and remotely inaugurate various urban development projects worth over 4000 crore rupees, at various locations across the State.

    These include houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects.

    He will also distribute the Swachh Survekshan-2018 Awards, and launch the Swachh Survekshan-2018 results dashboard. Cleanest cities, and best performing States will receive awards from the Prime Minister. One Swachh Innovation, one Swachh Best Practice, and one Swachh Entrepreneur will also receive awards from the Prime Minister.

    Locals in Indore are enthusiastic on the eve of the PM's visit and proud that their city has won the distinction of being the cleanest city in India for the second time in a row.

    The Prime Minister has often underscored the importance of states in India's development journey. He also monitors the progress being made by states in implementing various developmental schemes in a bid to inject momentum and clear bottlenecks in the way of achieving desired outcomes.

    While PM Modi's visit to the state would shower immense development benefits on it, it could serve another purpose too, of encouraging other states to compete with Madhya Pradesh in development metrics.

     

  • At a very young age, Abbas has done something which many dream to do during their life. He lives in Assam's Dibrugarh and owns a restaurant. He gives the entire credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Abbas says he was moved by PM's speech in which he said that one should become employment generator and not seeker.

    And now Abbas wants to expand his restaurant and provide more employment to others. His story is an inspiration for many.

     

     

  • Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday delivered a keynote speech at the high-level event 'Climate, Peace and Security – The Time for Action' in Brussels.

    Addressing the conference, she said stressed that these challenges are global in nature, and can be tackled only through global cooperation.

    The Minister also said that India is committed in its fight against climate change and energy preservation.

  • Ramandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay scored for the men in blue who complete dominated their opponents throughout.

    India will now take on Argentina in their second match on Sunday.

  • While import duty on walnut has been hiked to 120 per cent from 30 per cent, the same for shelled almond has been increased to Rs 120/kg from Rs 100/kg earlier. The import duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal has been increased to 70 per cent from 30 per cent earlier, while that on lentils has been hiked to 40 per cent from 30 per cent.

    The ‘tit-for-tat' duty hike decision by India is similar to that of European Union and China which decided to levy higher import duties on a variety of US products in retaliation to the protectionist policies adopted by America.

    On March 9, US President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that has sparked fears of a global trade war. India has said the duty imposed by the US has affected steel exports by USD 198.6 million and aluminium shipments by USD 42.4 million.

    India has also dragged the US to the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium. India exports steel and aluminium products worth about USD 1.5 billion to the US every year. India's exports to the US in 2016-17 stood at USD 42.21 billion, while imports were USD 22.3 billion.

  • Senior BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad has hit out at Congress leaders for undermining India's sovereignty. He said that Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has insulted Indian Army by saying that Army is killing more civilians than terrorists.

    He asserted that Lashkar-e-Taiba endorses sentiments of Congress saying added that statements of their party leaders break the morale of forces and impinges upon the security of the country.

    Hitting out at Congress leader Saifuddin Soz's statement on Jammu and Kashmir, Ravishankar Prasad said that Congress party echoes anti-India voices.

    He also lashed out at Congress party for terming Army Chief and Union Defence Minister's visit to martyr Aurangzeb's family as a drama.

    Reacting to Congress leader Saifuddin Soz's remark, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that when they are in power they swear by Kashmir being an integral part of India but when they are not in power, they start using this separatist or semi-separatist jargon.
     

  • Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha have admitted to their role in team's refusal to take the field during the second Test at St Lucia, the ICC said in a statement.

    Following their admission, the ICC appointed Michael Beloff QC as the Judicial Commissioner to hear the case to determine the appropriate sanction as according to the ICC code of conduct it breaches Article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offence, which relates to "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game".

    The three were charged by the ICC chief executive David Richardson on Tuesday for their involvement in the incident at the start of Saturday's play, which caused a two-hour delay in the start of play.

    Chandimal had been found guilty by the ICC for attempting to change the condition of the ball after video evidence indicated that he applied saliva to it shortly after putting what the the world body suggested was a sweet into his mouth.

    The Sri Lankan skipper, however, appealed against match referee Javagal Srinath's verdict of banning him for one Test match. Beloff will hear Chandimal's appeal today to establish the procedural schedule on the Level 3 charges. All Level 3 breaches carry an imposition of between four and eight suspension points and attracts a ban for 2 to 4 Tests or 4 to 8 ODIs.

  • Researchers at University of Bristol in the UK used artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse aggregated and anonymised twitter content sampled every hour over the course of four years across 54 of the country's largest cities to determine if our thinking modes change collectively.

    The, study published in the journal PLOS ONE, revealed different emotional and cognitive modalities in our thoughts by identifying variations in language through tracking the use of specific words across the twitter sample which are associated with 73 psychometric indicators, and are used to help interpret information about our thinking style.

    At 6 am, analytical thinking was shown to peak, the words and language at this time were shown to correlate with a more logical way of thinking. However, in the evenings and nights this thinking style changed to a more emotional and existential one. Although 73 different psychometric quantities were tracked, the team found there were just two independent underlying factors that explained most of the temporal variations across the data.

    The first factor, with a peak expression time starting at around 5 am to 6 am, linked with measures of analytical thinking through the high use of nouns, articles and prepositions, which has been related, in other studies, to intelligence, improved class performance and education. This early-morning period also shows increased concern with achievement and power.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, the researchers find a more impulsive, social, and emotional mode. The second factor had a peak expression time starting at 3 am to 4 am, the aggregated twitter content found this time to be correlated with the language of existential concerns but anti-correlated with expression of positive emotions.

    Overall, the study discovered strong evidence that our language changes dramatically between night and day, reflecting changes in our concerns and underlying cognitive and emotional processes. These shifts also occur at times associated with major changes in neural activity and hormonal levels, suggesting possible relations with our circadian clock.

    Furthermore, the study revealed both cognitive and emotional states change in a predictable way during the 24 hours. "The analysis of media content, when done correctly, can reveal useful information for both social and biological sciences. We are still trying to learn how to make the most of it," said Nello Cristianini, a professor at University at Bristol.

    "Circadian rhythms are a major feature of most systems in the human body, and when these are disrupted they can result in psychiatric, cardiovascular and metabolic disease," said Stafford Lightman, a professor at Bristol Medical.

    "The use of media data allows us to analyse neuropsychological parameters in a large unbiased population and gain insights into how mood-related use of language changes as a function of time of day. This will help us understand the basis of disorders in which this process is disrupted," said Lightman. 

  • Caffeine consumption has been associated with lower risks for multiple diseases, including type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but the mechanism underlying these protective effects has been unclear.

    The study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, a protein called p27, known mainly as an inhibitor of the cell cycle, was present in mitochondria in the major cell types of the heart. In these cells, mitochondrial p27 promoted migration of endothelial cells, protected heart muscle cells from cell death, and triggered the conversion of fibroblasts into cells containing contractile fibers -- all crucial for repair of heart muscle after myocardial infarction.

    Researchers, including those from IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Germany, found that caffeine induced the movement of p27 into mitochondria, setting off this beneficial chain of events, and did so at a concentration that is reached in humans by drinking four cups of coffee.

    Caffeine was protective against heart damage in pre-diabetic, obese mice, and in aged mice. Researchers said that in humans, the protective effect was reached at a concentration equivalent to consumption of four cups of coffee, suggesting the effect may be physiologically relevant "Our results indicate a new mode of action for caffeine, one that promotes protection and repair of heart muscle through the action of mitochondrial p27," said Judith Haendeler, from Heinrich-Heine-University in Germany.

    "These results should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle from damage, including consideration of coffee consumption or caffeine as an additional dietary factor in the elderly population," said Haendeler. "Furthermore, enhancing mitochondrial p27 could serve as a potential therapeutic strategy not only in cardiovascular diseases but also in improving healthspan," she said.

  • Earlier, the DGP in a tweet informed about the gunning down of two terrorists but hours later he confirmed the report of four terrorists being killed.

    Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Srigufwara area of the district in south Kashmir after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists. As the joint team of forces approached the suspected spot the hiding militants fired upon government forces triggering an encounter.

  • President Kovind arrived here yesterday on the last leg of his three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. Kovind along with India’s First Lady Savita Kovind paid tribute to the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the US.

    "Honoured to begin my state visit to Cuba by paying homage to Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba. A great friend of India, who lent dignity & strength to the voice of developing countries in the international arena. His leadership shall continue to inspire millions," the president tweeted.

    Cold War icon Castro stuck to his ideology beyond the collapse of Soviet communism and remained widely respected in parts of the world that struggled against colonial rule. The late commander of the Cuban revolution passed away at the age of 90 on November 25, 2016.

    During the two-day visit, President Kovind will hold talks with newly-elected Cuban President Miguel Diza-Canel Bermudez.

  • “Col. Rathore would also be gracing the tournament as the chief guest,” an official said here on the eve of the meet getting underway at the Al Wasl Sports Club here from June 22-30.

    India are clubbed with Pakistan with new comers Kenya in group A, while group B features Iran, Republic of Korea and Argentina with top two teams making the semifinals.

    IKF president Janardan Singh Gehlot said they are looking forward to exploring options for a comprehensive international kabaddi calendar that is active annually, successfully pinning kabaddi across the world map.

    "Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 is our first step in that direction and will elevate the stature of our sport considerably. We are thankful to the Dubai Sports Council as well as Star India for their strong rile in making this happen,” Gehlot said.

  • France, one of the pre-tournament favourites, join Uruguay and hosts Russia in the knockout rounds with one group game to go. Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe -- aged 19 years and 183 days -- underlined his rich talent and claimed his place in the French record books when he poked home in the first half.

    Didier Deschamps' side face Denmark on Tuesday with top spot in Group C up for grabs but progression to the next stage assured. In contrast, Peru face Australia with their fate sealed and just pride to play for in front of their passionate and large following that has decamped to Russia.

    Some Peru fans were in tears even before kick-off -- a generation of Peruvians have never known their country in the World Cup before. The South Americans' last appearance was in 1982 and they made this like a home game, ensuring their red and white dominated the Yekaterinburg Arena. That included the two enormous temporary stands that stretch high above both ends, exposed to the elements, where Peru fans bobbed and bounced to keep warm.

    Paul Pogba, the Manchester United midfielder who a few days ago called himself "the most criticised player in the world", flashed a drive wide and defender Raphael Varane did likewise from a header. With 15 minutes gone, Pogba and France began to impose themselves. Antoine Griezmann drove straight at goalkeeper Pedro Gallese after Olivier Giroud -- starting in place of Ousmane Dembele -- set up the Atletico Madrid forward. Deschamps had clearly told his side, disappointing in beating Australia 2-1 in their opener, to go long and use Giroud's physicality.

    Peru's best outlet in the first half was rampaging full-back Luis Advincula, who had the beating of defender Lucas Hernandez down France's left flank. Peru, unfortunate to lose 1-0 to Denmark in their first game, took until the half-hour to have their first serious chance, with recalled skipper Paolo Guerrero stinging the legs of Hugo Lloris. France captain Lloris, making his 100th appearance for his country, was a bystander for long periods. On 34 minutes France went in front. Pogba cleverly played in Giroud, his shot took a deflection and looped over Gallese, allowing Mbappe to stab into an open net.

    New-found confidence ran through the French and Hernandez should have made it 2-0 just before the break. As in the first half, Peru made the better start to the second and midfielder Pedro Aquino arrowed a long-distance rocket onto Lloris's upright. But for all their possession, Peru -- in their distinctive white kit with red sash -- caused the French defence few problems. Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti was imperious alongside Real Madrid's Varane.

  • Unhealthy diet increases the risk of many illnesses. Diet is an essential part of yoga. 

    DIETARY PRINCIPLES IN YOGA

    - Do not eat anything for at least one and a half hour after waking up 

    - Drink a luke-warm water in the morning

    - Lunch may be taken around 12 noon 

    - Take dinner two to three hours before sleep

    - Dinner may be taken around 6.30 pm 

    - Breakfast must be healthy and nutritious

    - Take the breakfast within two hours of waking - up

    Satvik ahar is a diet that offers your body a great basis for yogic practices. Satvik ahaar or yogic diet help to maintain the same energized, light feeling that is achieved through yoga. 

    WATCH | Health : Diet must have variety of foods

    DIET IN YOGA

    - As per yoga shastra, half of the stomach should be filled with food

    - One fourth of the stomach should be filled with water 

    - The remaining one fourth part of the stomach should remain empty

    - Avoid over eating

    - Eating in the right quantity helps in easy digestion 

    - Avoid drinking too much water along with the meals

    - Meals should preferably be taken at the regular timings

    - Take meals in a quiet and calm environment

    SATVIK AHAR (YOGIC DIET)

    - Diet must have variety of foods 

    - Include more fruits and vegetables in the diet

    Following the principles of healthy eating and having a yogic diet can help you attain a higher level of spirituality by generating positive energy. Make the effort to create a new life balance for yourself through a Yogic diet.

  • The minister in his pre-departure message said India wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia. "Leaving for Ulaanbaatar on a 3 day visit to Mongolia. Looking forward to further India's relations with Mongolia and strengthen security cooperation. Mongolia as an important strategic partner. India wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia," Singh said in a tweet.

    He will participate in the ground breaking ceremony of an oil refinery at Ulaanbaatar today, a Home Ministry spokesperson said, adding that Singh will also attend a reception hosted by the Mongolian prime minister on the same day. Singh will call upon the Mongolian president on June 23, the spokesperson said.

    The Home minister will also visit a Buddhist monastery and hold a meeting with his counterpart and Mongolia's minister for justice and interior affairs on Saturday. He will also visit the headquarters of Mongolia's Border Protection Force there before returning to Delhi on June 24. Singh was to visit Mongolia late last year. However, the visit was postponed after he suffered a hairline fracture.

    The home minister's visit is likely to further intensify the bilateral relations in various key areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2015 visited Mongolia, the first ever visit by an Indian prime minister. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also in Mongolia in April this year where she discussed economic cooperation in infrastructure development, energy, services and information technology with her Mongolian counterpart.

    The two countries also agreed to explore the possibility of launching direct air connectivity between New Delhi and Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. Swaraj is the first Indian foreign minister to visit the resource-rich country in 42 years. Diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia were established on December 24, 1955.

    India was the first country outside the then Socialist Bloc to establish diplomatic ties with Mongolia. India had supported Mongolia in getting the United Nations and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) berths. Both the countries also share common concern on terrorism. 

  • Jammu & Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has been holding a round of meetings since imposition of governor's rule in the state to tighten administration and security in the state. Friday saw him hosting an all party meeting to take all political stakeholders on board where the next steps on J&K's governance are concerned. The meeting saw the Governor appealing to all party's to support him in doing his work. Political parties responded by putting forth their views.

    Earlier in the day, the Governor also visited Baltal to review arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra.

    Friday also saw an encounter take place between security forces and terrorists. 4 terrorists were killed at the end of the exchange of fire which took place in Anantnag's Srigufwar area. A police jawan and a civilian were also killed during the encounter. One of the slain terrorists was identified as Dawood, the head of ISJK group which is said to be linked to the Islamic State.

    A grenade attack was also reported in Pulwama district's Tral which left 8 security personnel injured. Mobile and internet services meanwhile remain suspended as a precautionary measure in Srinagar, Anantnag and Pulwama districts.

    For the first time, the elite National Security Guard has been deployed in J&K by the Home Ministry at the request of the J&K Police. In the past, though NSG has been partnering the state police and CRPF in training for anti-terror operations, it's for the first time that it has been deployed there to take part in anti-terror ops although with a limited mandate. Its services being called upon in contingencies like a hostage crisis or terrorists being holed up in a residential area where collateral damage needs to be minimised while tackling the problem. It's deployment in J&K ahead of the start of the Amarnath Yatra on the 28th of June is also being seen as significant.

    Reflecting the govt's view on upholding the human rights of common people, Union Minister Arun Jaitley has penned a blog post. 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone of Vanijya Bhawan at Delhi's Akbar road. Once ready, the new building will house the Department of Commerce. 

    Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the construction of Vanijya Bhawan will be completed before December 2019. He added that earlier, construction pace was tardy, but now construction is completed in a pre-determined time frame and full accountability is fixed. PM Modi also said that speedy completion of various works shows the government's commitment.

    The Prime Minister asserted that the current government does not believe in misleading the country. He urged the people to start working from “Silos to Solutions”. He also said that technology has eased ways of doing business today, and this is going to grow in the years to come.

    The Prime Minister also said that GST has brought positive changes in the economy & in the way financial activities were carried out earlier.

    He set sight on taking India into the 5 Trillion dollars economy club; stressed on taking GDP growth rate into double digits and doubling India's share in global exports to 3.4%.

    Earlier, PM Modi planted a sapling on the occasion. New Vanijya Bhawan will be a completely paperless office with state of the art facilities such as smart access control, video conferencing and completely networked systems. He also viewed the 3D model and virtual walkthrough of Vanjiya Bhawan.

    The new building will be a symbol of not only India's growing economic might but also the adoption and use of technology in governance. 

    The Department of Commerce is currently housed in Udyog Bhawan which also houses a large number of other Government of India departments leading to constraint of space. 

    Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu said that this is not only the foundation stone of the new building but also a step towards new India. Minister of State for Commerce C R Chaudhary also spoke on the event. He said that this building will help in saving lot of money spent on rent.

  • President Kovind, who is in the Surinamese capital Paramaribo on the second leg of his three-nation tour, and Boutersel wearing round neck T-shirts joined dozens of yoga practitioners in this Latin American country to perform the asanas.

    "Extremely happy to have participated in #InternationalYogaDay celebrations, 14,000 kms away from India, at Paramaribo with President Bouterse of Suriname. I thank all the yogis who joined us and made this event truly memorable," President Kovind told the gathering. This was the first time that heads of two countries together participated in the International Day of Yoga. The United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 had declared that June 21 would be observed as International Day of Yoga every year.

    In Brussels, Sushma Swaraj joined the yoga day celebrations at the Yehudi Menuhin Space in the European Parliament. "Yoga represents one of the most powerful means for uniting the world," Swaraj told the gathering. "As we come together to celebrate yoga, we are also celebrating our shared humanity, recognising our shared opportunities and acknowledging our shared destiny. It is extremely heart-warming to see that India's gift to the world has been so heartily adopted by Europe," she said. Members of European Parliament and other important dignitaries attended the yoga celebration which was conducted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

    In Pakistan, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad celebrated the yoga day as a festival of health and well-being.

    In Nepal, a special mass yoga demonstration was held in the premises of Nepal Police Training Academy in capital Kathmandu which was attended by hundreds of people despite rain since early morning. Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwor Pokharel, along with Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri and hundreds of yoga enthusiasts, performed yoga postures in an hour-long event. A massive yoga session was held at the holy premises of Janaki temple in Janakpur where Governor Ratneshwar Lal Kayastha and Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut attended the event.

    In China, Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale along with other diplomats, staff of the Embassy, yoga teachers and students of a yoga centre participated in a colourful yoga event in Beijing. Over 500 yoga lovers turned up to take part in over hour-long special yoga workout at the old Indian Embassy premises. "I would say tens of thousands took part in China. But millions will be doing in their way either individually or in smaller groups," Bambawale said. The day is celebrated in 25 to 30 cities in different parts of China with larger turnouts, he said, adding that the popularity of yoga is going to increase not only in India but also in China.

    In Bangladesh, around 10,000 people attended the ancient Indian discipline at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. In Gulf countries, yoga day celebrations were held in Manama (Bahrain), Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman in UAE.

    The UK also marked the yoga day with a series of yoga sessions attended by members of the Indian diaspora and the wider public. The day began with a yoga session at the Indian High Commission in London, followed by a special event in the UK Parliament complex.

    Indian High commission in Colombo and consulates Jaffna, Hambantota and Kandy organized programmes in collaboration with local institutions. There were yoga demonstrations in educational Institutions in the Northern Province. Around 1800 students took part in the programme organized at Vembady Girls College in Jaffna, while similar events were held in Vavuniya, Kilinochhi, Mannar and Mullaitivu. 

    The Indian embassy in Kabul also organised a yoga programme which received an enthusiastic response. 

    In Finland the Director of Sports represented Finnish government at an event in which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar led Yoga protocol. Members of the Finnish Parliament also participated in the event.

    The French paid tribute to International Yoga Day at an event orgainsed by the Indian embassy with great enthusiasm.

    The message of yoga was received far and wide as the flash mob yoga at the central business district of Auckland reveals.

    Egytptians too embraced yoga as can be seen from these photographs at a function in Cairo. 

    UN ambassadors, diplomats, spiritual leaders, members of civil society and children participated in a flagship Yoga Day event organised by India's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. They enthusiastically participated in the two-hour long yoga session with the theme of 'Yoga for peace', performing different yoga asanas and exercises on colourful yoga mats spread across the expansive North Lawn in the UN Headquarters. Voicing her deep appreciation to India for organising the yoga day event, Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General underscored the importance of yoga in the overall well-being of individuals and even in various aspects of the world body's functioning.

    India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, who joined those gathered in performing yoga exercises and asanas, said yoga has become even more relevant as the world is recognising the critical importance of moving towards more sustainable lifestyles, in tune with surroundings and more in harmony with nature.

    An exhibition on yoga was inaugurated in the UN building on June 18 and will run through June 22. As in past years, yoga postures were projected through lasers on the North Facade of the UN Headquarters Building.

  • PM Modi inaugurated the 'YO1 Nature Cure Center' in the Catskills area of New York through a video link on the occasion of 4th International Day of Yoga. The Indian Consulate General here said YO1 is a "large Indian investment" in New York and will contribute to wellness of New Yorkers.

    PM Modi, in his video address, said that in just a matter of three years, the International Yoga Day had grown into a worldwide public movement and has become an integral part of public life in many countries. "Its impact has expanded far beyond its day of observance... It has become an occasion of initiation for millions inspired by the spirit of yoga, they commit themselves to its pursuit," he said.

    PM Modi said several people, who already practise Yoga, re-dedicate themselves to its pursuit. "The surge of interest in Yoga fills me with hope. I hope that Yoga can become binding force for the world," he said. YO1, which means youthful in Sanskrit, is the first of its kind nature cure center in America located in Monticello in the scenic region of Catskills.

    The centre has been built as a state-of-art facility and will be a wellness destination that will offer therapies based on ancient Indian Yoga and Pranayam. It will provide employment to at least 500 people and indirect employment to more than 1,500 people. The United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 had declared that June 21 would be observed as International Day of Yoga every year. 

  • Trump also blamed Opposition Democrats for the current crisis on the US southern border, which he said is causing tremendous damage and destruction. "I'm directing the Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to work together to keep illegal immigrant families together during the immigration process and to reunite these previously separated groups," he told his Cabinet members during a White House Cabinet meeting.

    He said the only real solution is for the Congress to close the "catch-and-release loopholes" that have fuelled the child smuggling industry, and advocated for an immigration bill. "They don't care about the children. They don't care about the injury. They don't care about the problems. All they do is they obstruct. We should be able to make an immigration bill that can really solve the problem, not just this. This is one aspect of it. This is one very important, but small, aspect of it," he said.

    President Trump urged Democratic lawmakers to come out with a legislative solution to the immigration process, which, he said, needs to be merit-based. "My administration is also acting swiftly to address the illegal immigration crisis on the southern border. Loopholes in our immigration laws, all supported by extremist open-border Democrats and that's what they are. They're extremist, open-border Democrats," he alleged.

    These loopholes, he said, have led to massive child smuggling industry. "It's exactly what it's become. Human traffickers are making a fortune. It's a disgrace," he added. Trump said that since 2014 alone, nearly 200,000 unaccompanied alien minors have been released into the United States as a result of Democrats-backed loopholes, including catch-and-release, which is one of the worst.

    "You catch them, and then you release them. Might as well save your time, don't bother catching them. And this is what we're stuck with. They're the worst immigration laws in the history of the world. The whole world is laughing at the United States, and they have been for years," he said.

    "We have to house these minors and we have to house them safely. Frankly, we have to house them, and we should be taking good care of them, and then we should return them back home. That's what we have to do. "But, every time we ask for resources, the Democrats say no. They say no to everything. They're obstructionists because they think that's good politically. For them, I think it's bad politically," Trump said.

    Trump has earlier signed an executive order following widespread protests against the move of his administration to separate children from their parents who illegally enter the country. In recent weeks, more than 2,500 such children were separated from their parents. 

  • England, set a ground record 311 to win, finished on 314 for four after Jason Roy top-scored with 101 and fellow opener Jonny Bairstow made 79 yesterday. Jos Buttler (54 not out) ended the match with 32 balls to spare when he hit a four off Michael Neser.

    Earlier, Australia made 310 for eight, with both Aaron Finch (100) and Shaun Marsh (101) scoring centuries in an innings where England paceman David Willey took four wickets. England will try to complete what would be their first 5-0 ODI series sweep of world champions Australia at Old Trafford on Sunday.

    Brief scores Australia 310-8, 50 overs (S Marsh 101, A Finch 100, T Head 63; D Willey 4-43) England 314-4, 44.4 overs (J Roy 101, J Bairstow 79, J Buttler 54 no) Result: England won by six wickets Series: England lead five-match series 4-0.

  • Second-half goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic sealed a deserved victory as a poor Argentina were left on the brink of a humiliating first round exit on Thrusday. The Group D defeat means Argentina have just one point from two games, meaning they will probably have to beat Nigeria in their last game and hope other results go their way to avoid elimination.

    The result left Argentinian fans in tears inside the Nizhny Novgorod stadium, while Diego Maradona watched from the stands in stunned disbelief. Croatia took the lead after a horrendous blunder by Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero in the 53rd minute, the stopper chipping a clearance straight to Rebic who lashed home a thunderous volley.

    Real Madrid star Modric then produced an electrifying 80th-minute goal before Messi's Barcelona team-mate Rakitic completed the scoring after Croatia sliced apart Argentina's hapless defence in injury time. The defeat leaves the Argentinians facing an ignominious repeat of their 2002 campaign when they also went out at the group stage after being tipped as possible World Cup winners.

    All the attention after the 3-0 defeat will focus on Argentina and Messi but it was also the result of a fine performance by Croatia. A curiously lifeless and uninspired Argentine display was capped off by Caballero's mistake when he somehow managed to chip the ball just a few yards to Croatia's Rebic, following a Gabriel Mercado backpass.

    Rebic volleyed home with aplomb but veteran Caballero will have nightmares for the rest of his days at his mistake -- likely to feature in any list of worst goalkeeping blunders for some time. And throughout it all Messi, arguably the world's best player, remained a peripheral and largely ponderous figure, briefly flashing to life on too few occasions.

    The 30-year-old's dream of winning the World Cup now look remote. With all the pre-match attention on Messi it was his Real Madrid counterpart Luka Modric who provided the game's true flashes of genius. The Croatian was the one player to find space and time in a bruising encounter and it was his moment of magic in the second half which settled the encounter.

    Picking the ball up some 25 yards outside the Argentina area, Modric had the option of at least two passes but chose to bide his time before planting a fantastic shot past a hapless Caballero. Rakitic added a third when the game was up for Argentina. They had only threatened briefly before then to equalise with Meza and Messi almost scrambling in a goal in the 64th minute.

    Beyond that Argentina looked largely clueless, and increasingly frustrated by Croatia. They could have taken the lead in the first half but Enzo Perez missed pretty much an open goal from just 12 yards in the 30th minute. It was to be Argentina's only shot of the half -- and their best chance all evening. Croatia went when Mario Mandzukic headed inexplicably wide in the 33rd minute from just three yards.

  • Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) in the US found that crystalline particles of titanium dioxide were found in pancreas specimens with Type 2 diabetes, suggesting that exposure to the white pigment is associated with the disease. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is not a known constituent of any normal human tissue. Our body normally has plenty of salts and compounds of metallic elements such as sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium, as well as lesser amounts of other metallic elements like cobalt or molybdenum but not of titanium.

    The team examined 11 pancreas specimens, eight of which were from donors who had type 2 diabetes and three from donors who did not. Whereas the three non-diabetic pancreatic tissue specimens contained no detectable TiO2 crystals, the crystals were detected in all of the eight type 2 diabetes pancreatic tissue specimens. Researchers found more than 200 million TiO2 crystallites per gramme of TiO2 particles in the specimens from type 2 diabetes donors but not in the three specimens from non-diabetic donors.

    "Our initial findings raise the possibility that type 2 diabetes could be a chronic crystal-associated inflammatory disease of the pancreas, similar to chronic crystal-caused inflammatory diseases of the lung such as silicosis and asbestosis," said Adam Heller, professor at UT Austin. In the mid-20th century, titanium dioxide pigment replaced highly toxic lead-based pigments. It became the most commonly used white pigment in paints and in foods, medications, toothpaste, cosmetics, plastics and paper. As a result, annual production of titanium dioxide has increased by 4 million tonnes since the 1960s.

    According to the World Health Organisation, the number of people with diabetes has quadrupled during the past four decades, affecting about 425 million people, with type 2 diabetes comprising the majority of recorded cases. Although obesity and an aging population are still considered major factors leading to a rise in type 2 diabetes cases worldwide, the study suggests that increased use of titanium dioxide may also be linked to the rapid rise in the number of people suffering from the disease. "The increased use of titanium dioxide over the last five decades could be a factor in the Type 2 diabetes epidemic," Heller said. "The dominant T2D-associated pancreatic particles consist of TiO2 crystals, which are used as a colorant in foods, medications and indoor wall paint, and they are transported to the pancreas in the bloodstream," he said. "The study raises the possibility that humanity's increasing use of TiO2 pigment accounts for part of the global increase in the incidence of T2D," he added. Given the wide-reaching implications of his findings, Heller is keen to repeat the study using a larger sample. 

  • Yoga guru Ramdev conducted the yoga session attended by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, ministers, officers and local people at RAC ground in the presence of two officials from the Guinness World Records. After the Yoga session, the officials presented the Guinness World Records certificate mentioning The largest yoga lesson was achieved by Government of Rajasthan, Patanjali Yogpeeth and District Administration at Kota (all India), Rajasthan, India on 21 June 2018.

    A total of 1.05 lakh people conducted yoga together at RAC ground in Kota. The record was created at 1.05 lakh and the counting of participants was still going on as it was estimated that nearly 2 lakh people were present for the mass yoga camp. The numbers were counted through set standard and drone cameras .The previous record was that of 55,524 people performing yoga in Mysore in 2017.

    Executive officers in India on behalf of the Guinness Book of World Record Swapneel and Ribika from London presented the certificate of world record to Raje and Ramdev. The yog camp started at 5 am and 15 yoga exercises of protocol for world record were performed from 6.30 am to 7 am. The participants performed 15 yoga exercise in the protocol for half an hour. 15 protocol yoga exercises included five kinds of Pranayam and yoga positions.

    On the occasion, the chief minister also announced setting up of a yoga center at district headquarters. She also called upon the people to include yoga in their daily lifestyle and routine to stay healthy and happy. Sound health keeps one happy and jolly. Yoga would usher the country to be the vishva guru once again, the chief minister said and announced setting up of a yog center in every headquarter of the state where an Acharaya can teach yoga to the people. She also asked Ramdev to set up an Acharayakulam inKota.

     A total of 4,500 inspectors were deputed to keep a close eye over the Yoga performance. “Yoga roots out all bad habits and tendencies from the body and soul”, Ramdev said on this occasion while stressing on need to embrace in life, three yog mantras -- determination, hard work and good nature.

    State Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf, Agriculture Minister Phrabhulal Saini, MP Om Birla and Dushyant Singh along with the other MLAs , chief secretary DB Gupta and DGP OP Galhotra were present on the occasion.

  • A new book, Megalith, has re-examined the ancient geometry of Neolithic monuments and concluded that they were constructed by people who understood lengthy lunar, solar and eclipse cycles and built huge stone calendars using complex geometry. Megalithic expert Robin Heath proposed that a great Pythagorean triangle in the British landscape links Stonehenge, the site from which the Preseli bluestones were cut in Wales, and Lundy Island, an important prehistoric site.

    Pythagoras' discovery that the sum of the areas of two squares on the sides of two triangle will add up to the area of a square on hypotenuse has been used been used for millennia to help builders attain perfect right-angles. The book shows how within one of Stonehenge's earliest incarnations, dating from 2750 BC, there lies a rectangle of four Sarsen stones which when split in half diagonally forms a perfect Pythagorean 5:12:13 triangle.

    The eight lines which radiate from the rectangle and triangles also perfectly align to important dates in the Neolithic calendar, such as the summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes, 'The Telegraph' reported. "People often think of our ancestors as rough cavemen but they were also sophisticated astronomers," contributor and editor John Matineau said. "They were applying Pythagorean geometry over 2,000 years before Pythagoras was born," he said. Nearly two miles north-east of Stonehenge, stood Woodhenge, which was also constructed using a 12:35:37 triangle. Consequently many stone circle' were not fully circular but have geometry derived from Pythagorean triangles often in whole numbers of Megalithic yards (2.72 feet) which were probably laid out using ropes and pegs.

    The huge stones of Stonehenge were also once surrounded by 56 wooden posts or stones which could be used for predicting eclipses as well as showing the position of the Sun and the Moon and the lunar phases. The bluestone horseshoe in the centre is thought to contain 19 stones to represent the number of years it takes for the Sun and Moon metonic cycle to go full circle and reset. The authors believe that much of the knowledge was lost following the rise of Christianity in Britain. 

  • In bouts held last last night, Amit defeated Germany's Christopher Goman 5-0, while Gaurav recorded a comprehensive win over Russia's Vadim Kudriakov by a similar margin. Amit, a silver-medallist from the CWG and a world championships quarterfinalist, has a tough one up next as he will be facing Cuba's Damian Arce Duarte, who got a bye in the opening round. Gaurav, who claimed a gold in the CWG, will be facing Ireland's Conor Quinn in his semifinal bout.

    However, CWG silver-medallist Manish Kaushik (60kg), bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar (91kg) and former Asian youth silver-medallist Ankush Dahiya (60kg) bowed out after opening-round losses. Manish was defeated 1-4 by Cuba's Lazaro Jorge Alvarez Estrada, while Naman went down to the Netherland's Roy Korving in another split verdict. Also going down in a 1-4 decision was Ankush, losing to Russia's Artur Subkhankulov. Earlier, CWG gold-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) had entered the quarterfinals with a facile win over Ireland's Nevin Michael on Wednesday. 

  • However, the Curiosity rover, which has been studying Martian soil at Gale Crater, is expected to remain largely unaffected by the dust. While Opportunity is powered by sunlight, which is blotted out by dust at its current location, Curiosity has a nuclear-powered battery that runs day and night. The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a "planet-encircling" dust event. Though Curiosity is on the other side of Mars from Opportunity, dust has steadily increased over it, more than doubling over the weekend.

    The atmospheric haze blocking sunlight, called "tau," is now above 8.0 at Gale Crater - the highest tau the mission has ever recorded. Tau was last measured near 11 over Opportunity, thick enough that accurate measurements are no longer possible for Mars' oldest active rover. For NASA's human scientists watching from the ground, Curiosity offers an unprecedented window to answer some questions such as why some Martian dust storms last for months and grow massive, while others stay small and last only a week. Curiosity along with a fleet of spacecraft in the orbit of Mars, will allow scientists for the first time to collect a wealth of dust information both from the surface and from space.

    The last storm of global magnitude that enveloped Mars was in 2007, five years before Curiosity landed there. Daily photos are being captured by the Curiosity rover's Mast Camera, or Mastcam, show the sky getting hazier. This sun-obstructing wall of haze is about six to eight times thicker than normal for this time of season. Curiosity's engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have studied the potential for the growing dust storm to affect the rover's instruments, and say it poses little risk.

    The largest impact is to the rover's cameras, which require extra exposure time due to the low lighting. The rover already routinely points its Mastcam down at the ground after each use to reduce the amount of dust blowing at its optics. Martian dust storms are common, especially during southern hemisphere spring and summer, when the planet is closest to the Sun. As the atmosphere warms, winds generated by larger contrasts in surface temperature at different locations mobilize dust particles the size of individual talcum powder grains. Carbon dioxide frozen on the winter polar cap evaporates, thickening the atmosphere and increasing the surface pressure. This enhances the process by helping suspend the dust particles in the air. In some cases, the dust clouds reach up to 60 kilometres or more in elevation. Though they are common, Martian dust storms typically stay contained to a local area. By contrast, the current storm, if it were happening on Earth, is bigger than North America and Russia combined, researchers said.

  • Participating in an International Yoga Day event at the Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade in Mumbai, he said the ancient Indian discipline was an invaluable gift to the world from India. "The practice of Yoga is important for positive thoughts. If it is included in the school curriculum it is possible to create a healthy nation.

    Yoga also helps in relief from stress due to the changing lifestyles," Naidu said. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also performed asanas at the event, said Yoga, an ancient science, was important in the modern day world. Youngsters need to practice Yoga for a good and healthy life, he said.

    BJP MP from North Central Mumbai Poonam Mahajan, local MLA and Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar and Union minister Babul Supriyo also participated in the Yoga event held in suburban Bandra. Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao took part in a special Yoga session organised by Kaivalyadhama and The Yoga Institute on the occasion of the fourth International Day for Yoga at the Raj Bhavan.

    Governor's Secretary Venugopal Reddy, Deputy Secretary Ranjit Kumar and other officers and staff of the Raj Bhavan also took part in the session. Several government employees performed various exercises during a Yoga day event at the state secretariat here. Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta were among the prominent people present at the Bandra event.

  • The list of U.S. imports worth 2.8 billion euros includes a vast range of items, such as cranberry, orange juice, peanut butter, jeans, cosmetics, motorcycles, and steel products.

    While the list did not name specific brands, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European commission, have warned that the EU intends to tax items such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Levi's jeans.

    Some analysts believe that the EU's retaliatory tariffs mainly targeted agricultural products from red states to put pressure on the Republicans in the mid-term election.

    U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders in March to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, but granted temporary exemptions to the EU, Canada and Mexico. The U.S. eventually ended the exemptions at the start of June.

    The EU's second-phase countermeasures are expected to begin in March 2021, which involves 10 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent, and 50 percent tariffs on different US products approximately 3.6 billion euros in total worth.

  • Swaraj arrived in Belgium on Wednesday from Luxembourg on the last leg of her four-nation tour. Earlier, she had visited France and Italy. "EAM Sushma Swaraj called on President of European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. The two leaders exchanged views on progress made on the understandings reached during the last India-EU Summit in 2017," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.

    India and the EU are strategic and natural partners with common values, he said. Earlier Swaraj called on Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel and discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, fintech and digital and space sectors. "EAM Sushma Swaraj called on Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament in Brussels. Excellent discussions between two of the world's largest democracies to enhance cooperation across different sectors, including parliamentary exchanges," Kumar said in another tweet.

    During her stay in Belgium from June 20-23, Swaraj will hold wide ranging discussions with the EU leadership to strengthen India-EU strategic partnership and will meet her Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders to further solidify bilateral ties. 

  • European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker called the meeting at the last minute as the issue causes fresh divisions in Europe, three years after the bloc faced its biggest migration crisis since World War II. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government coalition is under threat from the issue and there has also been a row over a boatload of migrants rescued from the Mediterranean who were turned away by Italy's new right-wing government. Hungary meanwhile passed a law on Wednesday criminalising aid groups that help migrants. "I am convening an informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues in Brussels on Sunday, in order to work with a group of Heads of State or Government of Member States interested in finding European solutions ahead of the upcoming #EUCO (European Council)," Juncker said on Twitter on Wednesday.

    Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Belgian premier Charles Michel have all confirmed their attendance, officials said. The leaders of frontline states Italy and Greece will also be involved, as well as Austria and Bulgaria, who are the incoming and outgoing holders of the EU's rotating six-month presidency, European sources said.

    The meeting comes ahead of a full summit of all 28 European Union leaders next Thursday to discuss plans to overhaul the bloc's asylum system, which has been under severe pressure since the migration crisis exploded in 2015. But even as numbers crossing the Mediterranean have dropped since then, efforts to reach a consensus have been thrown into turmoil by fresh developments in Europe as countries disagree over who should host new arrivals. According to a draft conclusion for Sunday's meeting would undertake to speed up the return of asylum seekers from one EU state to another when the latter country is regarded as responsible for processing their application. This is already provided for in the Dublin Regulation, which generally assigns responsibility for asylum seekers to the nation of first entry, but which is only partially applied and the principle of which is disputed by countries such as Italy.

    This situation spurred the threat by Germany's hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to turn back asylum seekers registered in another country without the agreement of its neighbours, a measure rejected by Merkel who is against unilateral initiatives to deal with the crisis. "Unilateral, uncoordinated measures would not only be less effective, but severely damage the process of European integration and put the achievements of Schengen at risk," the draft says, indicating support for Merkel. Several proposed measures are aimed at countering "secondary movements" within the EU, "as there is no right to freely choose the member state where to apply for asylum," says the text, which could change before Sunday. "We will impose on asylum seekers (sanctionable) obligations to remain in the competent member state," which must deal with their request. They would also have access to "social assistance" only in that country.

    The text said checks to control outbound travel should also be made at bus and train stations and airports by police and private transport companies. It also proposes stepping up measures taken the last three years to strengthen cooperation with north African countries, to speed up the return of illegal migrants and asylum seekers to their countries of origin and to support the Libyan coastguard. The EU border agency Frontex would also be revolutionised into a "true EU border police" with the number of officers increasing to 10,000 by 2020, a move Italy has been pushing for. The draft text also calls for "a very swift completion of the reform of the Common European Asylum System".

    The Dublin Regulation is a major source of division as it puts a disproportionate burden on frontline states such as Greece and Italy. The European Commission has for two years been proposing to modify it, notably by introducing an automatic distribution of asylum seekers in the EU at times of crisis such as in 2015. Last week's row over the fate of more than 600 migrants on the Aquarius rescue boat helped thrust the migrant issue back to the top of the EU agenda. Italy refused to let the vessel dock at its ports, sparking a war of words with Malta and prompting Macron to accuse Rome of "cynicism and irresponsibility". Meanwhile after allowing more than one million asylum seekers into Germany since 2015, sparking a strong domestic backlash against immigration, Merkel is now fighting for her political future. Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday raised the spectre of a "catastrophe" similar to the events of 2015 if Europe does not agree a common response.

  • This will be the first time that heads of two countries will together participate in the International Yoga day. President arrived in the Suriname capital Paramaribo on Wednesday on the second leg of his three nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. He held bilateral discussions with his Suriname counterpart yesterday. The two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest and cooperation followed by delegation level talks. The two sides agreed to expand the bilateral agenda especially in areas of economic relations, cultural cooperation and development partnership.

    President Kovind announced that India will extend concessional financing of 20 million Dollars for setting up a solar project to provide clean energy to a cluster of 49 villages in Suriname. In addition, India will extend a line of credit of 27.5 million US dollars to support a power transmission project in Pikin Saron area and another line of credit of 3.5 million dollars for maintenance of Chetak helicopters. Further, India will assist Suriname to establish a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology. An MoU was signed in this regard, along with four others in the field of elections, diplomatic academies partnership, employment for spouse of diplomats of the two countries and archives.

    The President also addressed the National Assembly of Suriname, thereby becoming the first foreign Head of State to address the Assembly. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Suriname is an obvious partner for India in its efforts to build on already considerable trade, investment and cultural relations with Latin America and the Caribbean region. President Kovind invited every one to join him for yoga to observe International Yoga day today.

     

  • The victory in Kazan puts the 2010 winners on course for the last 16. Costa, who scored twice in a 3-3 opening draw with Portugal in Sochi, courted controversy early in the Group B encounter when he stepped on the toes of Iran 'keeper Ali Beiranvand as he waited to kick the ball out. His gesture went unpunished, and the Atletico Madrid striker required another stroke of luck on 54 minutes when his shot came off Ramin Rezaeian to beat Beiranvand after he had been sent through by Andres Iniesta. The entire Iranian bench poured onto the pitch when Saeid Ezatolahi fired an equaliser for the Lions of Persia just before the hour. But the thousands of Iranian supporters that filled the stadiuum with the sound of vuvuzelas throughout were left disappointed when it was ruled out for offside.

    Spain coach Fernando Hierro welcomed Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal back into the starting line-up following his recovery from a hamstring injury suffered in the Champions League final win over Liverpool. With Lucas Vazquez replacing Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, it gave La Roja a distinctively Real Madrid feel. By the end of a pulsating opening half in which Iran's defence thwarted the few real chances La Roja were able to create, Hierro's men left the pitch looking rather red-faced. Costa got so frustrated with Iran's defensive tactics that he approached Beiranvand and provocatively stepped on his toes, leaving the 'keeper in visible pain. It went unpunished by Uruguayan referee Cunha, who had awarded France a historic first VAR-assisted penalty that saw Antoine Griezmann score Les Bleus' opener in a 2-1 win over Australia.

    Spain resumed in more positive fashion after the break, Beiranvand forced to produce heroics twice in the space of four minutes. But Iran refused to buckle, Carlos Queiroz's men coming close in the final minutes when midfielder Mehdi Taremi headed just over. Shortly after the restart an Isco corner was flicked on by Costa to Gerard Pique but his effort was cleared off the line. Sergio Busquets' drive from 20 yards was then parried by Beiranvand, who palmed the rebound away before Lucas Vazquez could pounce. Some great vision from Iniesta, and a slice of luck, however broke Iranian hearts when Costa spun and latched on to the ball before seeing his shot rebound off Ramin Rezaeian and into the net.

    Spain, however, were still flattering to deceive. On a rare counter goalkeeper David De Gea was left irate when Taremi rose to head a metre wide. Moments later, the stadium erupted when Ezatolahi fired through a packed Spain area to beat De Gea but the assistant referee's flag was up. In the final quarter hour Iran battled for a late equaliser, but after Vahid Amiri showed class to nutmeg Pique deep on the left and fire over an inviting cross, Taremi's thundering header flew just over the bar as a relieved De Gea looked on.

  • Trump signed the executive order following widespread protests against the move of his administration to separate children from their parents who illegally enter the country. In recent weeks, more than 2,500 such children were separated from their parents. "We're keeping families together, and this will solve that problem. At the same time, we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero-tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House as he signed the executive order.

    The executive order, signed by Trump, asks the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together while people await trial for illegal border crossing. But cases where there is a concern that parents "would pose a risk to the child's welfare" have been exempted from the executive order. Trump said the executive order is about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that they have a very powerful and strong border. "And border security will be equal, if not greater than previously. We are going to have very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together," he said.

    Trump said he didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated. "It's a problem that's gone on for many years, as you know, through many administrations. We are working very hard on immigration. It's been left out in the cold. People haven't dealt with it, and we are dealing with it," he said. Trump's opponents, however, were not satisfied with the executive order, asserting that this was not enough. "The President's Executive Order seeks to replace one form of child abuse with another. Instead of protecting traumatised children, the President has directed his Attorney General to pave the way for the long-term incarceration of families in prison-like conditions," said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "It is particularly galling that President Trump seeks to continue violating children's human rights to justify and gin up support for the anti-family language included in Speaker Ryan's anti-immigrant bill," she said.

     Pelosi said using terrified small children as "leverage" to push the President's anti-immigrant agenda represents an "unspeakably appalling moral low-point for our nation. Top Democratic leader Congressman Joe Crowley said while this order stops the separation of children from their parents, it does not end the administration's despicable policy of unreasonably detaining asylum seekers and families fleeing violence. "Instead of pushing legislation that endorses the Trump administration's policy of detaining families, House Republicans should join Democrats in calling for an end to the policy and in making sure we reunite the families that have been ripped apart," he said. "The thousands of children who have spent days, weeks, and months without the love and support of their parents deserve nothing less," Crowley added.

    Republican Senator Marco Rubio welcomed the executive order. "But Congress still needs to act because what they're doing, while very humane, violates something called the 'Flores Settlement', which means someone's going to take this to court and they're going to get it thrown out," he said. On Wednesday, Rubio introduced a bill that basically allows people who unlawfully entered to the country to be held together with their children. "And we also add new judges so that we can expedite the hearing they're entitled to, and dispose of their case either by sending them back together as a family or admitting them into the country as a family. We have to act and I hope we can pass that law," he said.

    Anastasia Tonello, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association said the detention of families parents and children  who pose no flight risk or danger to the community is simply "unacceptable, abrogates international responsibilities to refugees, and goes against our country's most fundamental values". "We need to embrace our legacy as a safe haven for the persecuted and stop subjecting bona-fide refugees to further trauma by locking them up while they pursue their lawful claims to relief," Tonello said. 

  • Union Minister Arun Jaitley today said that Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian will be leaving the finance ministry because of "pressing family commitments" and will return to the US.

    Subramanian was appointed as CEA to the finance ministry on October 16, 2014, for a period of three years. In 2017 his term was extended for a year.

    "Few days ago Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian met me over video conferencing. He informed me that he would like to go back to the United States on account of pressing family commitments. His reasons were personal but extremely important for him. He left me with no option but to agree with him," Arun  Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post.

    He further said that on expiry of Subramanian's three-year term in October last year, he had requested him to continue for some more time.

    "Even at that stage he told me that he was torn between family commitment and his current job which he considered the best and most fulfilling he has ever done," the minister said.

  • Vice President  M. Venkaiah Naidu will participate as Chief Guest at the International Yoga Day 2018 Celebrations being held at Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade Mumbai tomorrow.

    Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis will also attend the event which is being organized by a voluntary organization from Mumbai.

    Recognizing that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being, the United Nations has proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga.

    Since the first International Day of Yoga held on June 21, 2015, the event is being celebrated in many countries across the world every year to raise awareness on the benefits of practicing Yoga.

  • The International Cricket Council, on behalf of its Members, today released the men’s Future Tours Programme (FTP)   from 2018-2023.

    The FTP provides clarity and certainty around all bilateral international fixtures and incorporates all three formats of the game.
     
    The result of a significant collective effort from the Members, with the support of the ICC, the FTP focuses on bringing more context to bilateral cricket.

    A World Test Championship has been created along with a 13-team men’s ODI league that will act as a qualification pathway for the ICC Cricket World Cup.
     
    Nine top-ranked sides will participate in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, which will run from 15 July 2019 to 30 April 2021.

    The sides will play six series in the two-year cycle on a home and away basis against opponents they have mutually selected.

    The two top-ranked sides will then progress to the June 2021 final to decide the World Test champions.
     
    In addition, the 12 Test playing nations and the Netherlands, will participate in the 13-team ODI League, which will run from 1 May 2020 to 31 March 2022 and all the sides will play eight series over a two-year cycle on a home and away basis against mutually agreed opponents.
     
    India’s opening series in the World Test Championship is against the Windies in the Caribbean in July 2019, while their first ODI series in the league is against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in June 2020.
     
    This league will serve as a qualification pathway for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

    India (as host) plus the seven highest-ranked sides in the ODI league as on 31 March 2022 will qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, while the bottom five sides will get a second chance to qualify through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

  • The current figure of refugees is equivalent to the entire population of Thailand, and the number of people forcibly displaced equates to one in every 110 persons worldwide, it said. By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-per-cent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN refugee agency.

    "We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren't left dealing with this alone. But around 70 per cent of that number are people from just 10 countries", said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Geneva, ahead of the report’s launch.
    "If there were solutions to conflicts in those 10 countries, or in some of them at least, that huge figure, instead of rising every year, could start going down", he said, calling for more political will to halt the crises driving so many from their homes.

    The report showed that 16.2 million people were freshly displaced last year, and included those forced to flee for the first time as well as those who had been previously displaced. This equates to some 44,500 people being pushed out of their homes every day -- or one person every two seconds, UNHCR said.

    Most people flee within their own country, and are defined as internally displaced people, or IDPs. By the end of 2017, there were some 40 million IDPs worldwide, down slightly from previous years, with Colombia, Syria and Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for the greatest numbers. Another 25.4 million people -- more than half of them children -- were registered as refugees last year. That is nearly three million more than in 2016, and 'the highest known total to date' it said.

    Syria's seven-year conflict alone had, by the end of last year, pushed more than 6.3 million people out of the country, accounting for nearly one-third of the global refugee population. Another 6.2million Syrians are internally displaced. The second largest refugee-producing country in 2017 was Afghanistan, whose refugee population grew by five per cent during the year to 2.6 million people. The increase was due mainly to births and more Afghans being granted asylum in Germany, UNHCR said.

    South Sudan, meanwhile, saw the largest increase last year, with the number of refugees fleeing the world's youngest nation soaring from 1.4 million at the beginning of the year to 2.4 million at the end. Grandi said South Sudan was experiencing "a very bad emergency" which had apparently escaped the notice of both the government and the opposition who did not appear to be "taking seriously the desperate situation of their own people.

    “Refugees from Myanmar more than doubled last year to 1.2 million, as a brutal army crackdown forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to pour across the border into Bangladesh. Today's report also highlighted large-scale displacements in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and DR Congonm among others. And as Israel marks 70 years of independence, there are some 5.4 million Palestinians still living as refugees”, it said.

    “Despite the focus on migrant numbers arriving in Europe and the United States, a full 85 per cent of refugees are living in low- and middle-income countries like Lebanon, Pakistan and Uganda”,
    Grandi said. Turkey was hosting by far the largest number of refugees, with 3.5 million registered there by the end of 2017, most of them Syrians.

  • Governor N N Vohra had Tuesday evening sent his report to the President recommending imposition of Governor's rule in the state. 

    The report was sent after the Governor held consultations with political parties over the current situation in the state that arose after BJP's pull out from the Mehbooba Mufti-led government.

    BJP and National Conference had demanded imposition of Governor's rule in the state while PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti said that her party would not go into alliance with any party. Congress also rejected any possibility of joining hands with PDP.

    With no major political party showing no interest in forming or continuing any coalition for a government in the state, way was paved for the imposition of Governor's rule. 

    President Kovind who is on a three-nation visit to Greece, Suriname and Cuba, gave his assent to the recommendation of the Governor with immediate effect. 

    Earlier, on Tuesday Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also held consultations with top officials on the J&K situation.

    Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba briefed the Home Minister about the ongoing developments.

    Rajnath Singh also chaired a meeting attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Joint Secrtary (Kashmir), Special Secretary (Internal Security) and other senior officials.